Larry Diamond

Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award
Richard W. Lyman Award
Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. For more than six years, he directed FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, where he now leads its Program on Arab Reform and Democracy and its Global Digital Policy Incubator. He is the founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as senior consultant at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. His research focuses on democratic trends and conditions around the world and on policies and reforms to defend and advance democracy. His 2016 book, In Search of Democracy, explores the challenges confronting democracy and democracy promotion, gathering together three decades of his writing and research, particularly on Africa and Asia.  He has just completed a new book on the global crisis of democracy, which will be published in 2019, and is now writing a textbook on democratic development.

Diamond’s other books include The Spirit of Democracy (2008), Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (1999), Promoting Democracy in the 1990s (1995), and Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria (1989). He has also edited or coedited more than forty books on democratic development around the world.  He has served as Fulbright Visiting Lecturer at Bayero University Kano, Nigeria (1982–83) and as a visiting scholar at the Academia Sinica in Taiwan (1997–98).  He directed the Stanford Program on Democracy in Taiwan for more than ten years and has been a regular visitor to Taiwan since 1995.

At Stanford University, Diamond is also professor by courtesy of political science and sociology and is a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. He also served from 2010–16 as faculty codirector of the Haas Center for Public Service, where he helped launch the university’s signature public service initiative, Cardinal Service. He teaches courses on comparative democratic development, democracy promotion, and US foreign policy, and advises many Stanford students. In May 2007, the Associated Students of Stanford University named him Teacher of the Year for teaching that “transcends political and ideological barriers.”  At Stanford’s June 2007 Commencement ceremony, Diamond received the Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education. He was cited, among other things, for fostering dialogue between Jewish and Muslim students; for "his inspired teaching and commitment to undergraduate education; for the example he sets as a scholar and public intellectual, sharing his passion for democratization, peaceful transitions, and the idea that each of us can contribute to making the world a better place; and for helping make Stanford an ideal place for undergraduates." In January 2014 he received the Richard W. Lyman Award for service to the Stanford Alumni Association.  And in June 2016 he was honored with the Kenneth Cuthbertson Award for Exceptional Service to Stanford University, recognizing his “visionary leadership” of the Haas Center during a time of “unprecedented growth” and for his instrumental role in the launch of Cardinal Service, which seeks to make public service “central to the Stanford student experience.”

During 2002–03, Diamond served as a consultant to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and was a contributing author of its report Foreign Aid in the National Interest. He has also advised and lectured to universities and think tanks around the world, and to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. During the first three months of 2004, Diamond served as a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. His 2005 book, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, was one of the first books to critically analyze America's postwar engagement in Iraq.

Among Diamond’s edited books are Democracy in Decline?; Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Arab World; Will China Democratize?; and Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy, all edited with Marc F. Plattner; and Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran, with Abbas Milani. With Juan J. Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset, he edited the series, Democracy in Developing Countries, which helped to shape a new generation of comparative study of democratic development.

Diamond writes a monthly column for The American Interest and frequently consults on policies and programs to promote democracy.

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Recent Commentary

Beijing, China
Analysis and Commentary

Chinese Communism and the 70-Year Itch

by Larry Diamondvia Atlantic
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

China's government is approaching an age that has often proven fatal for other single-party regimes. Will Xi Jinping make the necessary reforms to avoid a crisis?

Oil Drilling
Analysis and Commentary

Africa’s Coming Resource Curse—And How to Avoid It

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Affairs
Thursday, September 5, 2013
In October 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion to seize a palatial cliff-top home in Malibu, California.
Analysis and Commentary

The Case for Intervening in Syria

by Larry Diamond, Lina Khatibvia Atlantic
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

'Forsaken by the West': Obama and the Betrayal of Democracy in Bahrain

by Larry Diamondvia The Atlantic
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

How To Get Rid of Assad By Engaging Him

by Larry Diamondvia New Republic
Thursday, February 9, 2012

Yes, negotiating with people who are responsible for crimes against humanity will be morally distasteful. But the alternative is to stand aside and content ourselves with the prospect of a decisive military intervention that will not come...

Analysis and Commentary

The Coming Wave of East Asian Democracy—Including China

by Larry Diamondvia Atlantic
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why most or all of East Asia will likely be democratic within a generation...

Dominos falling

Turbulence in the Fourth Wave

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Even if the Arab spring does create a surge of regional democracy, expect the tide to ebb and flow. By Larry Diamond.

Analysis and Commentary

A Fourth Wave or False Start?

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Affairs
Sunday, May 22, 2011

This period of change in the Arab world will not be short or neatly circumscribed, but an ongoing struggle between the forces trying to define the region's future...

KQED’s Forum on the Middle East and North Africa

by Larry Diamondvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, April 21, 2011

Michael Kransy hosts a discussion on the Middle East and North Africa that includes Larry Diamond.